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Monday, October 1, 2012

Shredded Vegetable Detox Salad

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When we were in Napa a few weeks ago, there was one question I asked at every single winery. It wasn't about the grapes or the wine-making process or the vineyard. Instead, I wanted to know each person's story. I'm a bit nosy curious as it is...I'm usually chomping at the bit to ask a million questions of each new person I encounter. This urge was even stronger at the wineries in California, where I was endlessly wondering how each person got to where they are now. I suppose it's because living in a vineyard or pouring wines all day seems so romantic and fantastical.

My daydreams of what life is like living in wine country were brought down to reality when I further questioned one particularly beautiful girl, who looked more California beach babe than winery employee. I asked if she drank wine daily, to which she laughed and said no. My dad followed up with a question (now I know where I get it from!), wondering what she drinks when she isn't drinking wine. Her answer? Kale smoothies! Well shucks, I've been putting spinach in my smoothies! If I substitute for kale will my legs be that tanned and thin? My hair that long and shiny? If only...

Still, I could relate to her approach to balance. Fine food and wine is normal and expected, but so are healthy greens and an active lifestyle. It's how I strive to live--dessert every day, but more vegetables than dessert. Wine or cocktails, but not every night. Lazy nights on the couch, but after I break a sweat.
So where does this detox salad come into play? It's all a part of the balance! After a few weeks of FUN, fun being a trip to New York and a wedding and of course the vacation in wine country, I was terribly unbalanced. There had been way more dessert than vegetables and more nights with alcohol than not. Was it worth it? 100%! But it was time to boost my veggie intake and this salad hit the mark! 

It couldn't be easier to make, so long as you have a food processor. The entire thing came together in 10 minutes and made a HUGE batch--enough for me to eat all week for lunch. It dries out a bit as the days go on, meaning you might want to add extra oil and lemon juice just before serving. I've already made this a few times--it's the perfect way to get a ton of vegetables and I promise you will be amazed at how delicious raw broccoli, kale, and cauliflower taste when finely chopped! The raisins provide just the right amount of sweetness while the sunflower seeds give a bit of salty crunch. 

By all means, enjoy that glass of wine and that second (or third) cookie...but don't forget your veggies either! 

One Year Ago: Broccoli & Apple Salad
Two Years Ago: October Special Egg Sandwich
Three Years Ago: Pork Chops with Sautéed Apples

Shredded Vegetable Detox Salad
slightly adapted from Doughing Rogue
-3/4 lb carrots
-2 bunches broccoli, roughly chopped
-1 head cauliflower
-1/2 bunch kale
-1/2 cup fresh parsley
-1/2 cup sunflower seeds
-1-1 1/2 cups raisins
-1/4 cup olive oil (add more as needed)
-juice from 1-2 lemons
-salt & pepper

1. Using the shredding attachment for your food processor, shred the carrots. Add to a large bowl and set aside.
2. Switch to the regular food processor blade and add the broccoli. Process until in tiny pieces (you may need to do a few batches of the broccoli). Add to the bowl with the carrots.
3. Repeat step 2 with the cauliflower. Repeat again with the kale, and then the parsley.
4. Add the raisins and sunflowers seeds to the large bowl with all of the vegetables. Toss to combine. Add the olive oil and lemon juice, stirring to mix well. Season with salt & pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.